Indigenous Sociology for Social Impact

I interviewed Associate Professor Kathleen Butler, sociologist and Aboriginal woman belonging to the Bundjalung and Worimi peoples of coastal New South Wales, who led the “Indigenous Sociology for Social Impact” workshop. The two-day event explored how sociology can draw on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership and knowledge to decolonise theory, methods and practice. She invited academic and applied sociologists of Indigenous and non-Indigenous backgrounds to discuss the issues, ethics and evidence-base to better better draw on Indigenous perspectives. Here she talks about the aims and lessons of the workshop, as well as the Indigenous methodology she used (“talking circle”) to elicit free-flowing ideas.


[Video: Prof Butler sits at a table speaking; she is filmed front-on, from the waist up. She smiles often when she speaks. At the beginning of the video, there is a notation that reads: In October 2016, Professor Butler led a workshop exploring how sociology can draw on Indigenous leadership & knowledge to decolonise theory, methods & practice. Later, when she discusses the “talking circle,” another annotation reads: Talking circle (or “yarning circle”) is an Indigeous methodology that brings participants together to discuss issues in a safe, open-ended dialogue without set questions. The end credit reads Other Sociolgist.]

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